Filipino-Canadian Gordon Cormier shares favorite 'Avatar' moments, becoming Aang

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
Filipino-Canadian Gordon Cormier shares favorite 'Avatar' moments, becoming Aang
Netflix's 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' stars Gordon Cormier and Dallas Liu during a press conference in the Philippines on February 21, 2024.
Philstar.com / Kristofer Purnell

MANILA, Philippines — Gordon Cormier is more than excited for the world to finally see Netflix's live-action series adaptation of "Avatar: The Last Airbender" and his portrayal of the titular character Aang.

The young Filipino-Canadian was in the Philippines with his co-star Dallas Liu, who plays Prince Zuko of the Fire Nation, ahead of the show's global release.

At a media conference, Gordon reflected on shooting the series in the middle of the pandemic, noting that production began when he was just 11 years old.

"I feel like I've grown up quite a bit, but even in the original series — which only takes place [over a course of] three months — you can see Aang growing as a person," Gordon said.

Gordon added that Aang even grows physically, quipping that by the third season the character is "shredded" and "pretty scary."

Tapping into the happy side of Aang was quite easy for Gordon, flashing a bright smile to prove his point, but the difficulties came in portraying the character's emotional moment.

"I think it really has to do with a lot preparation though," Dallas chipped in, noting the abundance of character and worldbuilding analysis online.

Dallas also praised the costume designers, makeup and hairstyling teams for making the actors' jobs easier, "We get to do our part and breathe the same breath as the animated characters had."

The two young actors were asked about some memorable experiences while shooting, with Dallas sharing during the Agni Kai duel that his wig kept falling off.

Another moment Dallas shared was being intimidated by Daniel Dae Kim, who plays Zuko's father, the Fire Lord Ozai; the character has gone viral online because of his broad chest, which Dallas himself brought up.

Gordon greeted the Filipino crowd before sharing about one of his favorite moments on the show, which was spending time with co-stars Kiawentiio and Ian Ousley, who portray Southern Water Tribe siblings, Katara and Sokka, respectively.

"It's probably the first day we really bonded. We're on Appa (the sky bison) and they say they need 15 minutes so we should stay up there. Thirty (30) minutes past and we're all sleeping, lying down in a tiny saddle," Gordon recalled.

Dallas praised Ian's brotherlike quality that quickly strengthened their friendship; however, it sort of went against how he wanted to approach Zuko.

Initially, Dallas wanted to isolate himself from others, much like Zuko. It was proving difficult to do for the young actor because of the bond created by Ian and Uncle Iroh's actor, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, on the set. He could not help but envy and decided to go against his initial plan and became close with everyone in production.

"When you're able to share such a strong relationship, not just with the other actors but everyone on a set, it truly makes the product so much better," Dallas ended.

Netflix's live-action series adaptation of "Avatar: The Last Airbender" begins streaming on February 22.

RELATED: Dallas Liu compares Philippines to Fire Nation, reflects on Zuko's redemption arc

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